River Plate clinch berth in Copa Libertadores final

Asuncion (Paraguay), July 22 (IANS) Two-time champions Argentine club River Plate advanced to the Copa Libertadores final by securing a 3-1 victory over Paraguayan side Guarani here.

Having won last week’s first leg in Buenos Aires 2-0, the Argentine outfit earned a 1-1 draw at the Defensores del Chaco stadium here on Tuesday for a place in the final, reports Xinhua.

Fernando Fernandez had given the Paraguayan side a fighting chance by scoring just after the hour mark before Lucas Alario struck a 79th-minute equaliser.

River Plate will contest their first Copa Libertadores final since they beat Colombia’s America de Cali to triumph in the 1996 edition.

“It’s a great feeling after so long to play in the Copa Libertadores final,” a jubilant River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo said after the match.

“The challenge is permanent. The players have given their all and now give themselves a chance to achieve a dream that we are all chasing. Now we have to prepare ourselves for what is coming.”

River Plate’s opponent in the final will be decided on Wednesday when Mexico’s Tigres host Brazil’s Internacional in Monterrey. Internacional won the first leg 2-1.

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